New Audi Q4 e-tron vs new Mercedes EQA: interiors

As the battle to be your next electric SUV gets fiercer by the day, the Q4 e-tron and EQA join the charge – but which is the better car? We pick a winner...

New Audi Q4 e-tron dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

The Mercedes EQA has the more glamorous interior, with an enormous screen that appears to stretch more than halfway across the dashboard. It is, in fact, two 10.0in screens sitting side by side. The one in the middle of the dash controls the infotainment system and the one behind the steering wheel can be configured to display a variety of information, including your speed and remaining range.

Some of our testers found that the EQA’s second screen was partially blocked by the steering wheel, whereas the equivalent in the Audi Q4 e-tron (called the Virtual Cockpit by Audi) works with more driving positions. Our contenders both have comfortable driving positions in other respects, and in each case you sit high enough to know that you’re in an SUV rather than just a jacked-up hatchback.

New Mercedes EQA dashboard

You won’t have too much trouble seeing out of the front of either car, although, depending on your driving position, you might find the Q4’s front pillars get in the way a bit too much at junctions and roundabouts. The view out of the back isn’t great in either, but the EQA makes amends with a rearview camera to help with reversing. You can have a camera on the Q4 too, but you have to fork out £1295 for the Comfort and Sound Pack for the privilege.

To help you see where you’re going at night, both cars have powerful LED headlights and the EQA’s have high beams that automatically dip themselves to avoid dazzling other drivers. Even more advanced matrix LED headlights are available on the Q4 but, yep, you guessed it: you have to pay extra for them.

Mercedes EQA 2022 instruments

There isn’t much in it for interior quality and, in a way, that’s a compliment to Mercedes and a criticism of Audi. A few years ago, Audi was head and shoulders above its rival (and just about every other manufacturer) for the plushness of the materials used and the solidity with which they all felt bolted together. Its recent models, including the Q4, are far from cheap-feeling inside, but there is a fair amount of hard matt plastic.

Mercedes, meanwhile, has taken a definite step forwards in recent years, to the point that, if you twisted our arm, we’d say the EQA edges it here.

Infotainment systems

Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron infotainment

As car touchscreen systems go, the one in the Q4 isn’t bad. It responds fairly quickly to prods and the operating system is user-friendly. You also get a three-year subscription to Audi’s online services. If you love listening to music on the go, you’ll want to specify the £1295 Comfort and Sound Pack, which includes a more powerful Sonos sound system.

Mercedes EQA

New Mercedes EQA infotainment

You control the EQA’s set-up by pressing the touchscreen or a large central touchpad that allows you to make inputs with your finger. The touchpad is less distracting when you’re driving, but either way, the system responds quickly. You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, but upgrading the sound system means forking out £3000 for the Premium Pack.

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